Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mr S & Ms M from Banstead


Disappointed.

On this trip, I visited Botswana & South Africa between 12-Sep-2012 and 27-Sep-2012 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

AverageAverage

Kwando Lagoon spoilt it. Please see separate email and attachment.

Feedback response

We had extensive discussions with these travellers after their trip. They enjoyed many aspects of their trip, but felt it was spoiled by Kwando Lagoon, and especially by the suspension on Lagoons vehicles, which they described as "boneshakers".

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Stanley's Camp, Botswana
13-Sep-2012 review: A reasonable start to our trip.
GoodGood
Kanana, Botswana
15-Sep-2012 review: Quite a good camp.
GoodGood
Shinde Camp, Botswana
17-Sep-2012 review: The best camp we stayed at.
GoodGood
Lagoon Camp, Botswana
20-Sep-2012 review: Why did we go there?
PoorPoor
City Lodge OR Tambo, South Africa
23-Sep-2012 review: A good overnight hotel.
GoodGood
Mala Mala
24-Sep-2012 review: One of the best camps in Africa.
ExcellentExcellent

Trip of a lifetime

On this trip, I visited Namibia between 4-Oct-2010 and 10-Oct-2010 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

We spent 6 nights in Kruger National Park, 6 nights in Sabi Sand and 6 nights in Namibia obtaining images for a book on Africa we are writing. We could travel anywhere in the world for the next 10 years and not have a better trip than this, despite the problems with missing luggage etc. No 3 week trip is going to be perfect but this was very close.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Can't think of anything.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Olive Grove, Namibia
4-Oct-2010 review: A reasonable overnight stay
AverageAverage
Okaukuejo Camp, Namibia
5-Oct-2010 review: Really enjoyed this camp
ExcellentExcellent
Okonjima Plains Camp, Namibia
8-Oct-2010 review: Had a good time at Okonjima Main Camp
GoodGood

The Holiday from Hell

On this trip, I visited Namibia between 21-Sep-2007 and 7-Oct-2007 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

PoorPoor

This was the wrong holiday at the wrong time. Christine and I had just sold our business, a manufacturing company employing 70 staff. In April, approx 6 months after booking this trip, we were contacted by our American competitors who made us a good offer for the business. Knowing we were going away in September we stipultaed that we wanted to complete by the end of August to give us sufficient time to arrange things and wind down from the stress of the sale. We eventually completed 2 days before leaving for Namibia and were in no fit state for this type of trip. As a result all sorts of things went wrong, which taken in isolation were insignificant, but added together spoilt the entire trip. Some have already been mentioned.

If we hadn't been so stressed and tired the driving may not have been such an issue, though I have already stated that I underestimated the distances. What I thought would be 2-hour drives were in fact 4 or 5 hour drives. The road conditions were also poor. Even the tarred roads are now in need of repair.

One other point we would like to mention concerns the fax Tracy sent to Pelican Bay. She stated that Ai Aiba is not the sort of lodge to fuss over clients. We're not sure where she gets that impression from. Neither Christine nor I expect people to fuss over us. In fact the opposite is true. All we really want is to be left alone, which is why we organised our own self drive rather than go with a group. As photographers we want the flexibility to wait around for the right moment to take stunning photographs rather than take snap shots.

Finally both Christine and I would like to thank Expert Africa and Tracy for all their help and assistance, especially when things went wrong during our stay.

Feedback response

We’re thankful to observe that this kind of disappointed feedback with any of our trips is very unusual. However, it does illustrate several important points though…

Firstly, our self-drive trips around Namibia require more involvement, energy and commitment from our travellers than most fly-in safaris do. These are not trips to that you can just sit back and enjoy – like to a few weeks lying on beach. They are really journeys of discovery, best entered into with an inquisitive mind and reserves of energy. Starting off on one of these trips in an exhausted state is, as demonstrated above, a recipie for disaster.

Secondly, travellers should not underestimate the driving distances and times in Namibia: these can be long. We have noted down the driving times and distances for some of the main routes in our brochure, and our team will always advise you on the more offbeat routes. On some routes, we’ll advise that stop is wise; please listen to us, and take the advice seriously.

By way of a ‘PS’ to this story – having discussed their trip with us at length, and put it into context, they are hoping to travel to the Cape with us in the near future!

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, Namibia
22-Sep-2007 review: A great way to start the trip
ExcellentExcellent
Kulala Desert Lodge, Namibia
23-Sep-2007 review: Not ideal for landscape photographers
AverageAverage
Pelican Bay Hotel, Namibia
25-Sep-2007 review: A total disaster. See below.
AverageAverage
Okaukuejo Camp, Namibia
29-Sep-2007 review: The water hole was excellent.
GoodGood
Waterberg Plateau Lodge, Namibia
1-Oct-2007 review: We didn't stay there
ExcellentExcellent
Okonjima Bush Camp, Namibia
3-Oct-2007 review: Worth going just to visit Africat
ExcellentExcellent